Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has officially signed an agreement to purchase the National Wrestling Alliance from Bruce Tharpe, PWInsider.com has confirmed. The deal will see Corgan purchase the name, rights,and trademarks to the NWA as well as the rights and possession of the NWA championship belt.
PWInsider.com has also confirmed that the deal has now been configured to include Tharpe's position in the NWA on Demand VOD service as well as the Paul Boesch wrestling library. The actual ownership of the library remains with the Boesch family, as it had while Tharpe was utilizing it, but now Corgan would have the same rights and responsibilities that formerly applied to Tharpe.
Corgan's purchase would end a five year ownership of the brand under Bruce Tharpe, who gained control after his International Wrestling Corp, LLC, sued the NWA and a number of its banner members in 2012, alleging insurance fraud regarding the liability insurance policy that was shared among NWA members. In a legal maneuver that has yet to ever be explained publicly, Tharpe was able to leverage the lawsuit into gaining ownership of the NWA brand.
Tharpe's role going forward has yet to be revealed but all signs are under Corgan, while all aspects of the NWA will be examined, there are not expected to be any major changes made immediately. We are told that everything is being looked upon as a long-term move, so don't expect any massive overhauls right out of the gate. It will be business as usual for the NWA and promoters who are licensing the name.
Formed in 1948, at one point the National Wrestling Alliance was the largest and most well known governing body in professional wrestling, a group put together by promoters to share one World champion and help share talent and protect each other's interests. The NWA Board of Directors would control who the shared World champion was and winning the belt was legitimately a feat in itself, because the champion was chosen for legitimate toughness, drawing power and the ability to enter member areas and help spark their business. For decades, the NWA champion was considered the most important champion in the business, often touring and traveling the world to defend the belt for member promotions. For older fans, the NWA championship was the belt in professional wrestling and was the measuring stick for greatness and what defined old school professional wrestling.
A lifelong pro wrestling fan, Corgan has flirted with his involvement in professional wrestling for years. In the late 1990s, he made numerous appearances for the original Extreme Championship Wrestling but rebuffed Paul Heyman's invitation to purchase 10% of the company for $1 million, feeling that the company wasn't worth $10 million at the time. At one point, Corgan acquired the ownership of the old Bob Luce wrestling library, comprised of material from the time period Luce was promoting professional wrestling at The International Amphitheater in Chicago. Corgan would later get involved in Chicago's Revolution Pro, working in creative and acquiring a deal to bring that promotion to AMC as part of a reality series before AMC opted to shut down its reality TV end. Corgan would later pull out of Revolution Pro. He would serve for a time as the President of TNA Wrestling as well as the head of creative, a time period that led to him famously suing to gain control of the company from Dixie Carter. Anthem Media, which ended up purchasing TNA (now Impact) came to a settlement with Corgan, repaying his investment into the company last year.